Compassionate Caring: Dr. Leena Gangoli’s Opinion on Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach which recognizes , first of all, that the unit of care is not only the patient but the family or the loved ones around the patient and secondly that aims to alleviate total pain” 

Dr. Leena Gangoli is a geriatric palliative care specialist who helps us understand palliative care where not only are the needs of the patient addressed but also the patient’s family and loved ones. This holistic approach aims to ease all aspects of pain which includes physical, psychological, social, emotional or spiritual pain of both the patient and the family through the journey.

The approach should ideally begin at the time of diagnosis/prognosis and considers different aspects of care. She takes the example of breast cancer where the patient undergoes a mastectomy and how various issues are considered and addressed. Clearly palliative care does not need to be restricted to just end of life care as is often misunderstood. Palliative care enables creation of an honest open communication that can improve the patients quality of life, and empowers both the patient and the family to better deal with the condition.

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